View Poll Results: What percentage of SW figures do you think are bought by kids?

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  • Less than 30%

    269 58.61%
  • 30-40%

    129 28.10%
  • 41-50%

    36 7.84%
  • 51-60%

    10 2.18%
  • Over 60%

    15 3.27%
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  1. #11


    I am hoping that most people took the phrase 'bought by kids' to mean 'bought by AND FOR kids', and I think that the numbers are much different than the majority seem to think. I'd wager that the youth market still accounts for at least 50% of the sales. There are lots of anecdotes about only seeing other adults buying star wars figures, but judging by the number of beat up NEW star wars toys I see at thrift stores, garage sales, and the houses of people I know with kids, I'd say there is still a lot of star wars being bought, played with, and eventually discarded by kids. Even at 50-50%, the collector market for these things is dramatically different than what it was on the original run, but let's not count the value of making toys for kids out just yet.

  2. #12
    I voted for less than 30%. There has only been three or four times when I saw a kid picking out star wars figures. This includes every time I have went to a store to buy figures. I just don't think a child could have enough money to buy all of the figures for a given year. I also believe the interest in star wars figures is greatly higher for adults.
    One way to out think people is to make them think you think they'll think what you are not really trying to get them to think what you think.

  3. #13
    Like most have said I have only seen a handful of kids looking at SW toys outside the movie release period. There have been times where I have talked to little kids looking through toy isles. Although it may seem scarry for them because 30 year old guys don't usually talk to them about SW toys. Still they have been very open to me about their opinions on toys. One incident comes to mind. A little boy was thumbing through the pegs and I asked him if he had seen a big Elephant looking figure (ephant Mon), he said no, and noted that it was a weird sounding figure. I then showed him a picture of the fig, and he said he would never get that one. When I asked him what he liked, he said just Jango, and the flying monsters (Geonisans). I asked him if he knew many people his age who liked SW, and he said no. He said that SW is treated like kiddie toys with most of his friends. He also said that SW toys weren't really cool, and allot of his freinds were into other stuff. He then left, and that conversation seems to be the cornerstone of my perception that kids just don't care about it like we do. Now it's up to Hasbro to admit that!!!
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  4. #14
    Registered Tycho's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Mind you: I don't have a point, yet. Just some observations.

    1) I usually shop and buy at store-opening hours 6:45-8:05, with breakfast in between. All new stuff is bought out then, and it takes weeks for it to be left behind for the average shopper - that includes parents who probably don't want to hang outside of Target at 7:45 am for their less-than-perfectly behaving brat at home. I mean you learn to be the morning early-bird by being into the hobby yourself, enough to want to be amongst the first to find the new stuff.

    2) Collectors hit the stores on much a different pattern than parents: collectors (hopefully) only go when new stuff is hitting. There were months this past summer when I did not spend more than 1 or 2 days at all, checking stores. Maybe not at all. I only do the morning thing when I read about stuff hitting retail in stories posted by forum users here.

    Parents go to the stores at their convenience, not 7:45 am, and they usually don't find anything new for even longer periods of time. If it took me months to be the first of us to find Lt. Faytooni, how long will it be for the "liesurely shopper?" If their kid (under internet or literacy age) doesn't have any more information, then "Wat Tambor, Darth Vader Removeable Helmet, etc. ARE NOT OFFICAILLY OUT YET. [says your parent]" When I was a kid, I accepted whatever my mother told me, because I coudln't go to the stores and check.

    3) How can you tell if an adult buying these toys is not buying them for a kid? Many parents don't want their kids in stores. These are tight budget times, and some kids destroy their action figures pretty quick. Better the kid doesn't know that Wat Tambor is out, or Padme Wedding, because afterall, the parent only has $12 to spend on the kid's toys, or that's all that's in the allowance, and Darth and Luke to hack each other to pieces should be all that's necessary. They don't want to start a collecting habit that results in needing some 50 figures a year and hundreds or thousands of dollars. I was very lucky: my mother hunted the vintage figures for me just like I hunt them for myself today.

    4) Distribution being what it is, a parent knows:

    The Hulk
    Transformers (that look cool)
    Luke Skywalker
    Princess Leia
    Darth Vader
    Darth Maul
    Obi-Wan Kenobi

    And they'll buy what they think a kid would recognize and think cool.

    I can't hear, "Honey I went to the store and found you Lott Dodd, Teemto Pegules, and General Madine, and Feltipern Trevagg!"

    "Who are they Mom?"

    "Well, they were in the same scenes, just off to the right, from Obi-Wan Kenobi, or somebody, I think."

    "Does General Madine kick butt? Can he fight Darth Vader?"

    "Well, it doesn't say on the package, but I suppose he might."

    "But that's Luke's job!"

    "Well, General Madine is a friend of Luke's."

    "But I don't even have a Luke figure!"

    "I'll return him then. The store had a lot of Spiderman figures you can stick on the wall."

    Now good distribution would sell figures like this:

    "Honey, I found you a Massif and Tusken Raider figure! It looks really cool! And here's Elan Sleezebaggano!"

    "Who are they?"

    "Well they cause trouble for these other figures I found you. Do you recognize them?"

    "Oh thanks Mom! That's the new Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi! They fight these 'bad guys!' I'm going to go play now!"

    So better distribution would help the kid market, though we can't tell who adults are buying for, but adult collectors in it for themselves are out getting new stuff at different times of the day than parents with kids, and in the end, the adult collectors are probably spending more money on their purchases.

    So it depends if the kids outnumber the adult collectors enough to match the higher ticket sales of adult collectors, but only with much improved distribution could I see that as possible.

    Lastly, in TRU two days ago, I met a father who collects and buys for himself, and 2 sons. The teenager shops for himself mostly. The kid, about 7-10 years old in my best guess, was there withthe dad. They were hitting the stores later in the morning, and I was just there because I felt like stopping as I didn't go out hunting that morning. I'm not sure if they were the excetion to the rule or not, but they are amassing huge armies for the Clone Wars stuff. This was an African-American family, the father being about in his 40's I guess, and from what he told me, a collector since the vintage days.
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  5. #15
    I've seen a few kids checking star wars displays. It depends on where you go, and what day of the week. If you go to a mall on a saturday afternoon, then you'll find some kids.
    I've seen one kid looking very feverishly through the discounted figures at KB a couple days ago.
    At TRU last summer, I spoke with a kid who had found a Hangar Duel Anakin on the pegs, and I hadn't seen it anywhere yet. He let me buy it, since he said he already had one.
    But I haven't seen any kids looking at the star wars displays at Target or Walmart.
    I did run into a 65-year-old lady who collects the 12 inch line though.
    And at a store that sells loose figures, I saw a kid picking out a handful of things (an interesting mix of prequel stuff and the OT. His father picked out about 4 stormtroopers since he felt it was really needed.)
    I have no idea what percentage buys...I think kids are more interested in toys that have a little more bang for their buck - Transformers are great since you can do some fancy stuff with them, as compared to a star wars figure, which is smaller, about $5 apiece, and with limited articulation possibilities.

  6. #16
    Vortex's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    Location, location, its all about location
    The 3 N's have kids attention these days...

    Nintendo (or any video game system)
    Nick (cartoons or videos)
    Netscape (its old I know...but the internet is a kid magnet)

    Times have changed, kids no longer are out all day riding bike, climbing trees, playing any sort of street ball, or getting together with all the kids in the neighborhood to play. Kids and teens and mid-20 folks are all getting self revolves around the net, being in digital contact with people and kids play time is very different from when we grew up. That's probably why most teens and little kids are over weight these days, but that's another topic...

    We had to invent things to pass time...action figures helped with that, and growing up cartoons were only on in the morning and afternoons from 3-5...we never had a channel dedicated to cartoons. Kids are so over stimulated with cartoons, video games, internet, that using your imagination is no longer cool it seems.

    If star wars was popular with the kids, why don't I seen obi wan at old country barf-if, or perkins, or out at stores. Heck my friends and I used to bring toys every where we went...I've seen power rangers flying around at Denny's and toy story stuff in purses, spider man toys all over fast food places, and peaking out of diaper bags, but I don't see anakin sharing a fry at mcdonalds...could be the times are changing, but I don't see a large interest in star wars with kids.

    I think its us 20 somethings and toy dealers that are picking the pegs clean and hunting stuff down.

  7. #17
    I think that there is a lot of truth here - but feel that there are a number of pruchases being made FOR kids. If the average kid was making minimum wage he/she would have a massive collection of whatever - He Man, SW, anything. But, since they get a meager allowance it is hard to say that their lack of purchasing negates their desire. It fine tunes their pruchases to what is hot at the moment. And forget vehicles, legos or other high end items - they simply can't afford them.

  8. #18

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    i say less than 5 % of figures are bought BY kids. i'd wager far under 30% are bought FOR kids. i've never bumped into a kid shopping for star wars figures. the only toys that really seem to draw kids attention is toy selections that have a regularly airing cartoon series - TMNT, dragonball Z, etc.

    i recall things being much different when i was a kid. DVD's certainly weren't an option and even VHS was a rare treat. before atari the only video games were at the arcade. even once atari arrived it was still often overlooked for playing outdoors. i recall days spent in the sandbox waging massive battles with joe and the rebel heroes fighting side by side against the empire and cobra. it seems with my younger nieces and nephews the only times they leave the house are to be carted off to school. because it's no longer 'safe' to simply allow the kids to play outside unsupervised the only sporting events take place at designated ball fields on organized leagues (seems to take a lot of the fun out of it and the kids seem to fight having to participate).

  9. #19
    Wow. I'm guessing that I must live in a world completely separated from the rest of you.

    In the past three years, going to an average of at least one store per day, I have seen less than five adults without children looking at or purchasing figures (barring the masses at the AOTC midnight madness sale).

    I've seen groups of several kids going through the SW figures more than once.

    I can't tell you the number of times I've heard a kid tell his mom, "This looks cool!"

    Once, I overheard a kid who looked to be about 8 trying to convince his dad to buy him K-3PO instead of a more recognizable character. "That's C-3PO's friend, Dad. You know, when they're in the snow!"

    Every time the stores put SW Lego sets on clearance, I have to go through hordes of kids, not adults, to find the ones I want.

    I personally know two 4-year old boys who have never met, live on separate sides of the country, and who play SW constantly. I always know what to get them for Christmas and birthdays, and it wasn't me who got either started on the habit.

    I don't think less than 30% of figures total could possibly be sold to children. However, it's got to be more than 40% going to collectors, who are usually completists and more often than not buy multiple figures of at least the army builder characters. And, given that kids seem to grow up faster now, anyone buying who's over the age of 10 or 11 is pretty much a collector in my book.

    However, I don't think this is a solid defense for Hasbro's shoddy practices. From what I hear, kids seem to want what we want: lots of army builders, cool aliens and robots (even if they have no idea who they are), neutral sculpts, and more characters and outfits rather than the same ones over and over. If Hasbro pays attention, IMHO, they'll see their figures are close to right, but they can make everyone happier by listening to collectors. After all, most of us buy what we'd have thought was "totally radical" as children.
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  10. #20
    I voted for less than 30%. I can only remember a few times in the last 4 years, since TPM, that I've seen kids (or parents shopping for kids) picking out figures.

    The SW franchise just isn't them same now as it was back in the day when I was a kid. Like the first guy that posted pointed out, kids are playing video games a lot more, and if they're not playing vid games they're probably playing w/ fig's from those games (DBZ, Yu Gi Oh). Or from more popular name brands like Spider-man, Batman.

    If it means anything, I also define a kid as being 12 or under. Once you hit 13 and middle school things change. If a young teenager is buying SW I don't think it's so they can reenact the battle of Geo endless times.
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